Let me tell your a story of how I came to functional medicine. When my was daughter was about 3 she became extremely fearful of places and people, of being left anywhere, even acceptable places like a camp for kids or a friend's house. Case in point, I had signed her up to participate in kid's art camp, she loved to draw, paint, build anything. It appeared to be a perfect fit. First day I dropped her off there were plenty of tears. Now I'll hear you say, that's perfectly normal, however the tears didn't stop. They could not distract her enough to participate. The camp eventually called to ask me to pick up my daughter. She wasn't going to be able to attend the camp. They did give me a refund thankfully. This type of experience continued off and on for another 6 months. Then when she was 3 1/2 we went to her weekly swimming class which she adored, however it caused her to have a full on panic attack, practically strangling me. It was very overwhelming as a parent to understand what was going on. These types of incidents continued in various ways over the next 5 years. Doctors would say oh it's growing pains.
She would develop a tic, they would say oh that's normal, just ignore it and the tic will go away. She would tell me kids were bullying her. I would investigate it and the "offending" child's parent would say that's not happening. It was horrible to watch this unfold. We eventually stumbled onto a chiropractor who understood a bit about what we were experiencing. She suggested testing and a diet change. Because we were at our wit's end, we agreed. The testing revealed she had allergies to gluten, dairy, soy, kidney beans, pinto beans and yeast. We put her on a paleo diet and saw a dramatic change in her behavior in a few weeks. She wasn't 100% neurotypical but she was much more manageable. As time wore on and we moved to functional neurologist who diagnosed her with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections) and PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric snydrome), we finally got to the root cause of what was going on inside. She continued to heal over the years as we peeled back the onion of her illness. Now she is a healthy neurotypical teenager, who loves school, particularly history and running.
My daughter was not the only one to benefit from functional medicine, my husband has benefited too. He also made dietary changes, removed gluten, dairy, corn and eggs. In 2 short years his body healed well enough that he can now tolerate eggs. He does not eat them everyday but he does eat them on a weekly basis and has not had any return of symptoms.
Mary is a life long advocate for helping others take control of their own health. She enjoys running, yoga, crew, SUP boarding, and hiking. She enjoys reading, and creating.